Ritz Cracker Pork Chops

Ingredients

1 cup Ritz crackers (or other butter crackers), crushed
garlic salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
2 eggs, beaten
4 pork chops

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a shallow bowl, combine crushed crackers, garlic salt and pepper; mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together. Dip your pork chops in the egg batter and then in the cracker mixture. Place the pork chops in a casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

Adapted from All Recipes

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Classic Lasagna

Ingredients

12 lasagna noodles
1 lb. Italian sausage
2/3 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup minced flat-leaf parsley, divided
3 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
15 oz. tomato sauce
2 cups water
1½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1½ tsp. basil
1½ tsp. oregano
15 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
2 tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, until al dente.  (I always add a couple extra noodles, just in case one breaks during cooking.)  Drain and set aside.  (I like to lay out the noodles so that they are flat and separated, to avoid them sticking to each other or curling up.  It makes the assembly process easier.)

In the meantime, in a very large skillet or saucepan (12-14 inches), crumble the Italian sausage and cook over medium-high heat until it just begins to brown.  Add the onion, garlic and 1/3 cup of the parsley to the pan and continue cooking until the sausage is completely browned and cooked through.   Mix in the tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, Italian seasoning, basil and oregano.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining parsley, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, eggs, garlic salt, and pepper.  Mix well until blended.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Spread 2 cups of sauce in a thin layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish.  Layer with 4 lasagna noodles.  Top the noodles with half of the cheese-spinach mixture and spread evenly to a thin layer.  Top with about a third of the remaining sauce mixture, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.  Layer again with 4 more noodles and the remaining cheese-spinach mixture.  Spread half of the remaining sauce mixture over the top, and sprinkle with 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella.  The final layer will be 4 noodles, the remaining sauce, and a layer of shredded mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

From Annie’s Eats

Parmesan Risotto

Ingredients

5 cups hot good-quality chicken broth
1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
1 large onion , finely chopped
1 -2 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups grated parmesan cheese (can use less)
2 -3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
salt and black pepper

Directions

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan; reduce the heat, to low and cover the saucepan to keep hot. In another heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-low heat, add in onion and saute until very tender but not brown (about 8-10 minutes). Add in garlic and stir for about 2 minutes. Increase heat slightly and add in the rice; stir for 1 minute.

Slowly add in 1-1/2 cups hot broth with a ladle; boil gently, stirring until the broth is absorbed. Add in another 1 cup broth, and stir until absorbed. Add in 1/2 cup broth at a time allowing the broth to absorb before adding in another 1/2 cup (do this until you have used up all of the broth) stirring frequently until the rice is tender and creamy (this should take between 25-30 minutes).

Stir in 3 tablespoons butter and 1-1/4 cup (or less) grated Parmesan cheese; mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Source: Kittencal’s Kitchen

Spaghetti Bolognese

Ingredients

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. lean ground sirloin (or ground turkey)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. dried pasta, such as shells
Pinch of ground nutmeg
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Crumble the ground meat into the pan.  Cook until no longer pink and starting to brown, 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add 1 cup of the wine to the pan and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, finish the sauce.  Stir in the nutmeg, basil, cream, and remaining ¼ cup wine.  Simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.  When the pasta is cooked and drained, toss with the warm sauce and grated Parmesan until well coated.  Serve with additional Parmesan if desired.

From Annie’s Eats

Tangy Pork Chops

Ingredients

4 pork chops
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
lemon slices

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine ingredients in bowl.  Place pork chops in single layer baking dish and pour sauce over top.  Place 1 slice of lemon on top of each pork chop. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes.

Everyday Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
3 1/4 – 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 (.25 ounce) package instant or ‘rapid rise’ yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Filling

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

Icing

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions

To make dough, place milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Butter should be at least partially melted. Stir and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, yeast, white sugar, and salt. When milk mixture has cooled to warm (not hot) add it to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl of an electric mixer along with the egg while the beater (paddle attachment for those using a stand mixer) is running. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook or a wooden spoon and add remaining flour only until dough barely leaves the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft and slightly sticky. Continue to let the dough knead for 5 minutes. If you are not using a stand mixer, turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes by hand. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and let rest for about 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling, make sure the butter is softened well (place in the microwave for a short time if necessary). Mix butter with brown sugar and cinnamon.

To make the rolls, roll out dough in the shape of a rectangle about 12 x 14 inches. Spread brown sugar mixture over the surface (it will be slightly thick so you might have to “crumble” it) and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to gently spread it around. Roll up  the dough rectangle from the longer side of the rectangle and pinch the edges closed. Score the roll into 12 equal pieces with a knife and then cut into rolls using a piece of dental floss.

Place in a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover pan with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When the rolls have finished rising, bake for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. The centres of the roll should be set and no longer doughy. If desired, spread with icing while still warm. Makes 12 rolls.

From Our Best Bites

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

Ingredients

4 red bell peppers
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 14 oz. (398 mL) can diced or whole tomatoes, undrained
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
1/4-1/2 cup half and half or light sour cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
extra sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions

Cut red peppers in half lengthwise; pull out the seeds and membranes. Place cut side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil. Roast at 450°F or broil on high for about 30 minutes (less under the broiler), until blackened and blistered, rotating the sheet if necessary for them to cook evenly.

Remove from the sheet and place in a bowl; cover with the foil or a plate and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard them, dropping the peppers back into the bowl.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, add the thyme, tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a simmer; add the red peppers along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl and cook for about 20 minutes.

Turn the heat down to low and add the cream, salt and pepper. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender or transfer to a blender in batches and pulse until smooth. Heat through, adjust the seasoning and serve warm. If you like, top each bowl with a small dollop of sour cream, and run a bamboo skewer through it to create a teardrop shape.

From Dinner with Julie